The Xstream – Karnali with Bardia Wildlife Reserve
DAY TO DAY PLAN
Day 1 – 10 hour drive
0830  Depart Kathmandu by private bus. Drive approx 10 hours.  Lunch en route
1930 Dinner at Bhalubang or Lamahi. Overnight simple lodge

Day 2 - Arrive at river
0630  Wake up call - simple breakfast
0730    Depart - drive for approx. six hours.
Lunch en-route.  Turn north off Mahendra Highway, begin winding drive up to Surkhet
1330    Arrive Surkhet (aka Birhendranagar) Road/track now rougher and steeper.  Last 4 kms completed on foot using porters for all heavy equipment
1530   Arrive at river.  Inflate rafts, to camp on downstream far bank

Day 3 (river-day 1)
0630  Wake-up call with tea and coffee
0730    Breakfast. 
0830   Comprehensive instruction on drills including all river safety aspects and demos, plus camp procedures, stowage and securing of loads etc
1030  Cast off and raft for 2 hours - gentle water throughout  first stretch of river
1230  Lunch
1330    Raft 3 hours. First major rapid encountered 1 hour later - good grade IV.  Then rapids increasing in number, length and power.
1630    The night’s dramatic campsite lies on river-right, a beach overhung by a great grey/brown crag

Day 4 (river-day 2)
0730  Wake-up call with tea and coffee
0800     Breakfast.  Take down camp.  Set-up rafts
1000     Raft for 2 hours.  Flat to start with, then livening! Overall grade IV-IV+. After a shallow/obtuse (right-hand) bend, river steepens to an obviously difficult section on another equally obtuse (left-hand) bend.  Inspect river left.  An easy rapid leads to a huge river-centre boulder/pour-over with tricky lead-in.  Grade IV-IV+.  Main Rapids:  "Human for Lunch", Class III+, "Jailhouse Rock", Class V
1200  Lunch
1300 Raft 2 to 3 hours.  Good, bouncy, playful rapids
1301 Set-up camp on river right, on beautiful beach. Downstream lies a village with friendly locals.  The night is filled with the roar of tomorrow’s 1st rapid
1600 Day 5 (river-day 3)
0730  Wake-up call with tea and coffee
0800  Breakfast.  Take-down camp.  Set-up rafts
1000  Raft for 2 hours. Main rapid: "God's House" - Grade V
1200  Lunch
1300  Raft  - quickly into big rapids.  Main rapids:  "Rafter's Trap", Class IV,  "Flip & Strip" - Class  IV, and "Lost Mutt", Class III+.  A short but terrific day’s rafting
1430 Set-up camp early on good beach river right

Day 6 (river-day 4)
0700  Wake-up call with tea and coffee
0800     Breakfast. Take down camp.  Set
up rafts
0945     Raft 2 to 3 hours.  The day
consists of easier rapids and a
lazy drift on the fast-flowing
current.  Laid back, we cruise
through Red Rock Canyon.
1200     Lunch
1300     Raft for 2 hours again through
beautiful stretch of easy, fast
water
1500 Set-up camp on river right on large beach below a small settlement

Day 7 ( Lay-over Day - river-day 5)
0700  Wake-up call with tea and coffee
0800     Breakfast

NB  This lay-over day can actually be used anytime en route or alternatively it can be making camp at midday and moving on the next afternoon.  It is sometimes applied to local exploration, it is sometimes about relaxing after particularly strenuous/high adrenalin whitewater encounters, and if used as here, on  river day 5, it is a break from the sometimes soporific gentle drift which is a characteristic of these final stretches.  It has even been utilised for remedying raft wear and tear!

Day 8 (river-day 6)

0630  Wake-up call with tea and coffee.
0730  Breakfast.  Take down camp.  Set-up rafts
0900  Raft for 3 hours - easy rapids all the way - Grade I-II
1200  Lunch
1300  Raft for 3 1/2 hours - rapids easy for experts, then more fast, flat water, more paddling and catching the current to drift us on down towards journey’s end
1630  Set-up final beach camp

Day 9  - Take-out day and Bardia
0730  Wake-up call
0800    Breakfast.  Take down camp.  Set up rafts
0930    Raft  - a gentle drift and paddle - to Chisapani where the towering suspension bridge across the east-west Mahendra Highway comes into view
1100    Rendezvous with our  private transport.  Deflation of rafts, packing and stowing of equipment.
1200    Lunch
1330    Drive to Bardia National Wildlife Park
1500    Settle into lodge accommodation.
Briefing on the Park and its wildlife.
1900    Dinner

Day 10 – Bardia Wildlife Reserve
0700    Wake-up call
0730     Breakfast
0830     Full day’s wildlife encounter with break for lunch
1900 Dinner

Day 11 – Flight to Kathmandu
0730     Wake-up call
0800     Breakfast.  Prepare to leave.
1200     Drive 1.5 hours to Nepalganj
Fly to Kathmandu.  END OF EXPEDITION.

Meals:  B,L,D from lunch on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 11

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